Health & Beauty

How to Manage the Work-Life Balance as a Doctor


It’s no secret that being a doctor demands long and arduous hours. Whether you’re a regular GP, a surgeon, or an emergency specialist, life in the medical profession means that finding a work-life balance can be a struggle. However, there are ways to work around it. Below are a few tips that can help.

Set Aside Personal Time

Setting personal time aside for your own health and wellbeing should be at the top of your list. Just as passengers are instructed to inflate their own life raft in the event of a plane crash, it’s important that you take care of your needs before helping others. Not only will you be healthier and happier, but you will be in a better position to care for those around you (especially your patients).

While it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day, create a schedule so that you’re caring for your physical, mental, emotional, and social needs. This includes:

  • Eating healthily (rather than a takeaway on the run)
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising regularly
  • Socialising with friends and family
  • Doing things that you enjoy

Prioritise Your Workload

Learning how to prioritise your workload early on will be a lifesaver in the years to come. As you get into a routine, you can pick up bad habits, so it’s a good idea to prioritise as soon as you become a GP. This includes learning how to delegate, not take on too much, and divvying up time between patient care, admin, research, personal time, etc.

Don’t Skip Breaks

Skipping breaks is sometimes unavoidable, especially if your appointments run over time. However, where possible, make sure you take your breaks throughout the day. Not only is this important for your own health, but it’s also for the safety of your patients. A tired, overworked doctor won’t do anyone any favours. Even 5 minutes to yourself to meditate or have peace and quiet can go a long way.

Alternate Your Schedule with Telemedicine Appointments

Advancements in remote working technologies mean that appointments can now be made online. One way to help your time management is to vary your appointments so that less urgent matters can be done through telemedicine appointments. This will cut down on hours in the office, and your patient will likely appreciate not having to endure travel and waiting times in the office.

Develop Activities Outside Work

Life as a doctor can be all-consuming. To avoid the trap where your job is your entire life, make sure you develop activities or hobbies outside of work while ensuring that your home and family life aren’t neglected. You may even want to look into Doctors Mortgages Online to find out how to take out a mortgage for GP if you’re looking to buy a house. Whether it’s attending to home life, social outings, or a sport or hobby that you love to do on your own, having activities outside work will improve your wellbeing and make you a better all-around doctor.

Adjust Your Working Hours

As part of prioritising and time management, you may want to reduce your on-call hours or switch to part-time hours. Reducing your hours depends greatly on your specialty, patient capacity, and staff availability, but if you find that work is taking over too much of your life, this is an option. If you can afford to reduce the number of hours you put into being a doctor, it may help your work-life balance even more.

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